The spring of 2020 has been difficult for most Americans, now we see that it’s especially hard for those suffering from substance abuse. Albany, New York is no different from most cities in America, we have a serious substance abuse problem here too.

According to News 10, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple spoke about the recent rise in drug-related deaths in Albany County. According to Sheriff Apple, there were more deaths last week due to overdose than there were with COVID-19. Sheriff Apple said, “There was some bad stuff that came through the Capital District. It wasn’t just Albany County, Rensselaer County got hit hard”.

Things are so bad that a mobile morgue had to be used to keep the bodies of people who died from drug overdoses. The mobile morgue, located outside of the Albany County Jail, was originally built to temporarily store the bodies of COVID-19 victims. There were 30 drug overdose deaths linked to fentanyl-laced cocaine in just a 24- hour period.

Sheriff Apple advised that he has been contacted by different organizations to try to open AA and NA meetings. Meeting locations have been scarce throughout the lockdown, because of the pandemic. Jason Kirby, Medical Director of Addiction Services, advised that his office is trying to provide counseling to the community through telemedicine. Everyone believes that in-person counseling is best, but telemedicine will help some people.

COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on our community. Keep trying to live a healthy lifestyle and don’t neglect your mental health. If you, or someone you love, are struggling with drug addiction don’t hesitate to seek help. Help is still out there, you may just need to look a little harder for it.

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